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Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

The Funny Side of Camelot

Theatre Unchained arrives with ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’

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Monty Python’s Spamalot kicks off the inaugural season of Theatre Unchained at the former Carte Blanche Studios.

Written by Python’s Eric Idle with John Du Prez, Spamalot adapts the surrealist troupe’s first feature film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, for Broadway. Identical to the Arthurian parody, the plot condenses certain segments while embellishing others and tapers off further into the absurd with the effervescence of song and dance. Rest assured though, the memorable sketches from the film can still be found.

The story follows King Arthur (Max Williamson) and the Knights of the Round Table on their quest for the Holy Grail. In typical Python fashion, the plot finds the absurdity within the tale as Arthur and company travel onward, confronting knights that say “Ni” and squabbling with the French. For one of the most anticipated scenes, the dismembering of the Black Knight and the killer rabbit’s rampage, Theatre Unchained’s creative methods were welcomed by outbursts of laughter.

The cast performed well in raunchy accents—singing, dancing and taking on multiple roles that never seemed forced. Jimmy Dragolovich was spot on with his characters’ mannerisms as the French Taunter and the “Ni” Knight. Nico King was mesmerizing in her own right and showed that, even in metallic spandex, the Lady of the Lake could be just as witty as the boys. Along with a sly twerking reference to Miley Cyrus, she steals the spotlight as a typical diva asking, “What happened to my part?”

Williamson’s confidence matched perceptions of the king with accuracy, but his soliloquy numbers tended to suggest a surprisingly depressed, lonesome monarch at times. Luckily, his psychological tiff doesn’t weigh the comedy down with melodramatics. He, along with the full ensemble, “look on the bright side of life,” wrapping up the quirky tale with a cliché storybook ending.

Theatre Unchained’s Spamalot runs through Sept. 22. For tickets, visit theatreunchained.com.

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